Programming with Roles in ObjectTeams/Java

Stephan Herrmann

A number of proposals exist how to support the concept of roles at the level of programming languages. While some of these proposals indeed exhibit very promising properties, the concept of roles has not found its way into mainstream programming languages. We argue that this is due to the richness of the concept of roles and the fact that each existing proposal focusses on some aspects of roles while neglecting others. We present the programming language ObjectTeams/Java and using the categories of (Steimann 2000) we demonstrate that this language covers more aspects of roles than previous approaches. We suggest that a thoroughly defined programming language featuring roles may contribute to a better understanding also in other fields using roles.

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